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Advice for widow cruising alone


BLITZMA
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I have cruised for 60 years but never alone.  Are there senior single cruises?  Do you go solo and hope to meet people?

Are there better ships or destinations that are better? post COVID - I need to get out and live!

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The solo forum here is a good place to start even though it isn't specifically for seniors:
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/279-solo-cruisers/

 

There are various discussions there of how different lines/ships are for cruising solo and there is a long running thread on solo cruise bargains. I'm married but travel solo when my husband isn't interested in going. My solo trips have been on small ships: Windstar and Star Clippers lines. Star Clipper almost always has some sailings with no solo supplement. When I went on one of those, a lot of the other travelers were solo. In either case, I've never had any trouble finding other people (couples or solos) to socialize with.

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Blitzma,

It is great that you are looking for a solo cruise.

I am widowed too and cruising is one of my great joys now.

I have only cruised on Carnival and NCL but NCL was the one that always had a solo host and solo dinners.  I prefer the Jewel class ships myself.  On the Epic, there were so many solos that I felt crowded.  On the Jewel class the solo meetings were usually 5 to 20 people and sometimes we went to sows together too.  When one of the group performed at  Karaoke, at least some of the group would show up for support.  On at least one cruise, our solo group made a killer trivia team.

Of course none of us know how Covid will affect things but I doubt NCL will abandon solos.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If I was just starting to do Solo I would go on one of the NCL Ships with the Solo Cabins and Solo Lounge.  (Norwegian Bliss, Escape, Getaway, Breakaway, Epic, and Pride of America).  The Studio cabins are small, 99sf, but I think it is worth it to have the solo lounge and ability to meet people.  The Studio area is insulated where you have to have a cabin key to get in the area.  You have a lounge in the area and I find people in there any time day or night.  Everyone in there are solo travelers so they are willing to visit and enjoy others company.  The other thing these ships have is a Solo Cruise Director.  This Cruise Director is responsible for setting up dinners, activities and gatherings for all the Solo Cruisers.  My Getaway cruise we did have to have the Cruise Director replaced but when we got the second one she set everything up and we had a great time.  We had a standing dinner time with 3 tables reserved that would hold 45 people and most nights they were all filled.  

Going forward I am splitting my time between RCL and NCL.  RCL gives me the big ships and locations I want and NCL gives me the connection to other Solo Travelers I want.

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While not widowed, I sometimes travel solo when She Who Must Be Obeyed is not interested in the cruise itinerary.    I have never had trouble finding somebody to talk to in a lounge or on deck.  Many times it results in an invitation to join them for a cocktail or a bite to eat, and I am still in touch with some of those folks years later.

 

My secret?  Eye contact with a smile and a raised glass by way of a toast and greeting.  Perhaps just a smile and a comment or two.  I like to watch the sun come up while enjoying coffee on the aft end outside the buffet, and have found other like-minded folks there sometimes eager for conversation.

 

If you are comfortable in doing so, attend one of the Friends of Dorothy evening get-togethers, if that information is posted.  You don't have to be from the LGBTQ community and when I have done so, I have met some delightful travelers.

 

I once had a widow, probably twenty years older than me,  ask if she could sit across from me at a table for two in a crowded lounge after I smiled at her.  We shared some travel stories until it was time for her to go to dinner.  Later on I decided to eat in the MDR, so when I was seated, there she was at a nearby table eating alone.  After that night, we ate dinner together for the rest of the cruise.  We never exchanged contact information and that was that. 

 

The main thing is to get out there.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not a solo, have several cruises on Holland America. Usually have many seniors on board, unless during school vacation. no idea about cost.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I love my small ship cruises, especially those with open seating dining.  I also enjoy the all-inclusive ships so I don't have to worry about who's picking up the bar bill or ordering wine at dinner.  With a small ship, it's easy to see same people all the time and thus strike up a conversation too.  And it's easy to say, "think I'll go read/do a crossword/take a nap" if you don't want to socialize.

 

My first solo cruise was a year after my husband died.  Some people thought I was crazy but it was what I wanted.  I've had 3 (4?) canceled by Covid and am ready to get back on a ship.

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On 5/12/2021 at 2:11 PM, jhsocal said:

Not a solo, have several cruises on Holland America. Usually have many seniors on board, unless during school vacation. no idea about cost.

 

I've been able to book inside and outside cabins on HAL for less than 200%.  Some of the newer ships have single cabins, but I have no first hand experience with those.

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  • 1 month later...

What are your hobbies?  I'd look for group cruises that have a focus on them.  That way you'll be sure to meet like minded people and immediately have something in common.

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/20/2021 at 4:04 PM, BLITZMA said:

I have cruised for 60 years but never alone.  Are there senior single cruises?  Do you go solo and hope to meet people?

Are there better ships or destinations that are better? post COVID - I need to get out and live!

BLITZMA, my husband passed away almost 5 years ago, and our last cruise was in 2010 due to his health.  I've really missed cruising, so I decided my upcoming 70th birthday was the perfect excuse to go to sea on my first solo cruise.  I got a very good rate on a Celebrity's Edge Solo Infinite Verandah cabin doing an Eastern Caribbean itinerary.  My goal is to be at sea and enjoy the shipboard experience.  We only stop at 3 ports I've been to before, so I have no problem skipping shore excursions if need be.  I got a spa pass for the entire cruise and booked dinner in Eden for my birthday with some of the generous OBC received.  With that arranged, I followed up booking a Cunard cruise in August 2022 to the Norwegian Fjords during a 4th of July Sale requiring only a small refundable deposit.  After reading many of the posts here for singles, I decided to put another small refundable deposit on NCL's Getaway in October 2023 (another birthday cruise) doing a Baltic cruise from Copenhagen that includes 2 days in St. Petersburg and a day in Estonia, which is one of my personal bucket list itineraries.  Traveling Mike was one of those who posted positive comments about the NCL solo cabins, and getting that itinerary a a good price including air locked it in for me.  In this case, one of my knitting friends with whom I've gone to many pre-Covid knitting events has decided to join me.  We both booked the solo cabins, agreeing that we can't be sure what life will bring in 2 years, so if one of us cannot go, it won't impact the other's booking.  My first solo cruise is now 53 days away, and I'm excited about this and hope I can continue to tick off my cruise bucket list.  

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On 6/10/2021 at 9:04 PM, MHF said:

I love my small ship cruises, especially those with open seating dining.  I also enjoy the all-inclusive ships so I don't have to worry about who's picking up the bar bill or ordering wine at dinner.  With a small ship, it's easy to see same people all the time and thus strike up a conversation too.  And it's easy to say, "think I'll go read/do a crossword/take a nap" if you don't want to socialize.

 

My first solo cruise was a year after my husband died.  Some people thought I was crazy but it was what I wanted.  I've had 3 (4?) canceled by Covid and am ready to get back on a ship.

Hi Missy, I love that small ship experience too🙂.....I just got back from MUSE to Alaska.....next month I go on Spirit out of Lisbon! (hopefully)!!!

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